Beginning any project, whether for business or personal use, can be a daunting task.  IRIS RESOURCES understands that, and strives to make sure you receive the proper advice and education to make your project a success.  We'll walk you through, step-by-step, to ensure you understand the processes we follow. Every project is unique, so our solutions are customized to fit your specific needs.  

What is the best file format for scanned files?

Today the most common format is PDF (Portable Document Format).  The reason for this is the universal access to the free Acrobat Reader which permits anyone to open a pdf file on their PC or Mac.  By converting paper to documents in pdf format you make your records easily viewed and you can count on anyone you send them to by e-mail to be able to access them as well.

The original file format that was used for archival electronic storage was Tif (Tagged Image Format).  This format was chosen because it created small file sizes, and it was a locked format which meant that archived records were not subject to manipulation.  This is a critical need for documents which are to be stored and kept as the "originals" in an archived setting.  Tif also has the benefit of being easier to run specialized software for OCR (Optical Character Recognition) and data extraction.  

What is "Book Scanning"?

Book scanning (or magazine scanning) is the process of converting physical books and magazines into digital media such as images, electronic text, or electronic books (e-books) by using an image scanner.

Digital books can be easily distributed, reproduced, and read on-screen. Common file formats are DjVu, Portable Document Format (PDF), and Tagged Image File Format(TIFF). To convert the raw images optical character recognition (OCR) is used to turn book pages into a digital text format like ASCII or other similar format, which reduces the file size and allows the text to be reformatted, searched, or processed by other applications.

Image scanners may be manual or automated. In an ordinary commercial image scanner, the book is placed on a flat glass plate (or platen), and a light and optical array moves across the book underneath the glass. In manual book scanners, the glass plate extends to the edge of the scanner, making it easier to line up the book's spine. Other book scanners place the book face up in a v-shaped frame, and photograph the pages from above. Pages may be turned by hand or by automated paper transport devices. Glass or plastic sheets are usually pressed against the page to flatten it.

After scanning, software adjusts the document images by lining it up, cropping it, picture-editing it, and converting it to text and final e-book form. Human proofreaders usually check the output for errors.

                                  - From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Questions to ask yourself before you begin your scanning project...

What is Resolution, and what does DPI stand for?
The amount of detail captured with a scanner is determined by something called scanning resolution. Resolution is measured in dots per inch or DPI. DPI means that a scanner will capture so many dots or pixels for every inch of area scanned. 

Which resolution is right for my project?
This depends on your needs and what you want to do with your scanned images. If you want to view your digital images on a computer your needs will be different than someone who wants to create printed material.  If you want to archive and preserve all the detail contained in your books, photos, or paper documents your choice of resolution might be different still. 

 New York State Archives-Instructional Videos - Preserving Historical Records

 Library of Congress-Recommended Format Specifications 2014-2015

Some helpful links:

  New York State Archives - Digital Imaging Guidelines 2014